Not that it should come as a shock, but we lost a Barred Rock hen this morning. We've been very lucky with not losing many chickens to predators this year, so I guess it was just a matter of time. I found the carcass of the hen in the ditch under a cedar tree. Not sure what got it though. It's lower jaw was missing and all it's neck feathers were plucked out, but no meat from the neck was gone. That's it. Nothing else had been touched. I'm assuming something got it & was interrupted by the dog or something else & left it there. So I'm guessing it wasn't a coyote or bobcat as they would have probably been able to drag it off with them. Hawk maybe. I'm not sure if a raccoon or opossum would have been out in the daytime and if they even bother plucking the feathers off before they eat. I lopped the head & feet off & put them in the live trap this evening. Maybe I'll catch something tonight (hopefully not the barn cat).
Speaking of the PO'd Barn Cat, I haven't seen him in about a week now. I'd put out a bowl of cat food each evening as I closed up the chickens in their coop & I'd usually see him lurking around waiting for supper. I've still been putting the food out every evening and it's gone by the morning, but it wouldn't suprise me if something else is eating it. Hopefully he just found a nicer place to live. Or he finally got sick of the generic dry cat foot I've been giving him.